DIW Roundup

Politik im Fokus

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Regulatory differences and international financial integration
18.05.2018, Tatsiana Kliatskova
Roundup 122

The Capital Markets Union (CMU) – an initiative of the European Commission – aims to unify and deepen capital markets across EU Member States by removing existing barriers to cross-border investment and, in particular, harmonizing financial and business regulations. However, harmonizing institutional frameworks across the EU Member States that historically have different legal traditions is difficult and requires time. This article summarizes important steps to harmonizing business and financial laws in the EU and discusses empirical and theoretical literature on the role of legal (...)

The macroeconomic effects of exchange rate movements
20.02.2018, Pablo Anaya
Roundup 121

The macroeconomic effects of exchange rate movements have been subject to an extensive debate in international economics. Traditionally, much of the discussion was focused on the relation between the effective exchange rate and the trade balance. However, the process of financial globalization has led to a sharp increase in foreign asset and liability positions across countries and also to a greater dispersion in foreign currency positions, with many countries being either large net creditors or net debtors in foreign currency. This has shifted the focus of the discussion from the trade (...)

Monetary Policy Normalization in the Euro Area
30.01.2018, Malte Rieth
Roundup 119

The ECB announced in October 2018 that it would begin to cut back the amount of monthly asset purchases starting January 2018 while extending the duration of the purchases until at least September 2018. At it latest Governor’s Council meeting in January 2019 it decided to remain on this track despite a sharp appreciation of the euro in the meanwhile. These steps were just two on a longer and potentially slippery path back towards standard monetary policy. Market turbulences like the so-called “Taper Tantrum”, which followed the Fed’s 2013 announcement that it was (...)

Internationale Investitionen und Leistungsbilanz- ungleichgewichte: Die Bedeutung von Wertschwankungen
07.12.2017, Thore Schlaak
Roundup 117

Die weltweiten Kapitalflüsse sind seit den 1980er Jahren bis zum Ausbruch der Finanzkrise stark gestiegen. Im Zuge dessen sind etwa die Auslandsinvestitionen Deutschlands auf rund 250 Prozent in Relation zum Bruttoinlandsprodukt, die Investitionen des Auslands in Deutschland auf etwa 200 Prozent gestiegen. Diese positive Differenz ist eine Folge der kontinuierlichen Leistungsbilanzüberschüsse Deutschlands, welche die Nettofinanzflüsse abbilden – also die Differenz zwischen Ab- und Zuflüssen. Kapitalanlagen im Ausland bieten Investoren die Chance, Ersparnisse zu (...)

Capital market integration and macroeconomic stability
16.11.2017, Franziska Bremus
Roundup 116

After the establishment of the Banking Union, the European Commission is working on measures to foster capital market deepening in Europe. Key goals for a European Capital Markets Union are to provide firms with alternative funding sources to bank credit and to make economies more resilient to local shocks through better international risk sharing. While open capital markets can improve portfolio diversification, growth and welfare, the recent financial crisis was a reminder that capital market integration also carries risks in terms of economic stability. This article summarizes pros and cons (...)

The use of financial market variables in forecasting
15.11.2017, Stefan Gebauer
Roundup 115

Financial market indicators can provide valuable information for forecasting macroeconomic developments. In response to the global financial crisis of 2007/2008, the role of financial variables for forecasting has been revisited, and new empirical and theoretical forecasting methods able to explicitly incorporate financial market information have been developed. This roundup discusses characteristics of financial variable movements and the relation to business cycles. It furthermore summarizes some of the new theoretical and empirical approaches at hand for forecasting macroeconomic variables (...)

The Natural Rate of Interest and Secular Stagnation
30.01.2017, Guido Baldi
Roundup 110

In many advanced economies, there has been a declining trend in interest rates over the past thirty years. Since the financial crisis, interest rates have remained particularly low. Though a decrease in inflation explains part of the fall in nominal interest rates, there is also a clear downtrend in real interest rates. Against this backdrop, a debate has emerged over the factors that might have contributed to this decline. Potential persistent factors discussed under the heading of “secular stagnation” include a decline in profitable investment opportunities and high global (...)

The Natural Rate of Interest II: Empirical Overview
30.01.2017, Philipp König
Roundup 109

The concept of the natural rate of interest (NRI) dates back to Wicksell (1898) and has since then been highly debated in the economic literature. In practice, estimates of the NRI can be employed as a versatile tool for macroeconomic analysis and are a core element within the popular neo-Wicksellian (or New-Keynesian) framework. The real rate gap, i.e. the difference between the actual interest rate and the NRI, provides valuable information about the state of the economy and can help policy makers to adjust the monetary policy stance. However, the NRI cannot be directly observed and has to (...)

The Natural Rate of Interest I: Theory
27.01.2017, Philipp König
Roundup 108

The term natural (or neutral) real interest rate refers to the equilibrium value of the real interest rate. As this equilibrium is usually conceived as a situation where inflationary or deflationary pressures have abated, the natural real interest rate is a key concept for central banks seeking to stabilize the general price level or targeting the rate of inflation. The present roundup provides a brief historical review of this concept and explains the relevance of the natural real rate for monetary policy analysis. 

The Inflation Targeting Debate
09.01.2017, Malte Rieth
Roundup 107

Inflation targeting has become one of the most prominent monetary regimes around the globe. Proponents argue that it reduces the dynamic inconsistency problem of monetary policy and thereby stabilises prices, which in turn promotes growth. Opponents, on the other hand, say that by focusing on price stability inflation targeting neglects other important policy objectives, such as financial stability, and thereby contributed to the built up of the global financial crisis. This roundup summarises the arguments made in the debate. It concludes that no consensus has emerged in the empirical (...)

Staatsfonds in Zeiten niedriger Rohstoffpreise
24.05.2016, Hella Engerer
Roundup 97

Unter Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWF) oder Staatsfonds werden Fonds verstanden, die im Auftrag eines Staates Geld anlegen und verwalten. Die Fonds speisen sich häufig aus Ressourcen, insbesondere aus Einnahmen von Öl- und Gasexporten. Sie sollen in rohstoffexportierenden Ländern dazu beitragen, mögliche Preisschwankungen auf internationalen Rohstoffmärkten abzufedern oder finanzielle Reserven für künftige Generationen zu bilden. Lange Zeit hatten steigende Energiepreise zu einer rasanten Zunahme des Fondsvolumens auf weltweit insgesamt über sieben Billionen (...)

The Dilemma or Trilemma Debate: Empirical Evidence
26.04.2016, Pablo Anaya, Michael Hachula
Roundup 95

One of the central results in international economics is that an economy cannot have at the same time independent monetary policy, free capital flows, and a fixed exchange rate. Over the last few years, however, this so-called Mundell-Flemming ‘trilemma’ has increasingly been challenged. It is argued that given the rising importance and synchronization of capital and credit flows across countries and their underlying common driving forces, the ‘trilemma’ has morphed into a ‘dilemma’: an economy cannot have at the same time independent monetary policy and an (...)

Can central banks successfully lean against global headwinds?
22.12.2015, Malte Rieth
Roundup 88

Despite expansionary central bank action, inflation remains low in the euro area. How much can we expect from the additional stimulus in face of anaemic global growth and declining oil prices? More generally, have central banks lost the ability to steer inflation in a globalised world where external factors have powerful effects on domestic inflation? This roundup summarises the evidence in the literature and concludes that central banks retain influence on domestic inflation.  

Monetary Policy and the Risk-Taking Channel
28.07.2015, Michele Piffer
Roundup 75

Before the 2007 crisis, the trade-off between output and inflation played a leading role in the discussion of monetary policy. Instead, issues relating to financial stability played a less pronounced role in shaping the stance of monetary policy and were limited to asset price dynamics. This Roundup argues that the great interest that emerged after the 2007 crisis in the effects of monetary policy on financial stability reflects the shift in attention from asset price dynamics to risk-taking incentives of financial intermediaries. The Roundup reviews the economic literature that contributed to (...)

The Debate about Financing Constraints of SMEs in Europe
21.05.2015, Franziska Bremus
Roundup 66

Small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) are highly dependent on bank financing, which is why they have been particularly hit by tighter credit conditions in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Given that SMEs account for about 60% of value added and 70% of employment in the euro area, they are crucial for economic recovery. Consequently, several policy initiatives have been launched to alleviate SMEs’ financing constraints. This Roundup gives an overview of the current debate about financing obstacles of SMEs in Europe and collects policy recommendations from the economic (...)

Finanzspekulation und Rohstoffpreise
07.05.2015, Michael Hachula, Malte Rieth
Roundup 63

In der letzten Dekade kam es bei Rohstoffen zu heftigen Preisschwankungen. Gleichzeitig nahm der Anteil von Finanzinvestoren an Rohstoffterminbörsen erheblich zu. Im Zuge ist eine Diskussion entbrannt, ob Finanzspekulation Rohstoffpreise von ihren fundamentalen Bestimmungsgrößen entfernt. Wissenschaftliche Studien kommen diesbezüglich jedoch zu keinem eindeutigen Ergebnis. Die Politik hat trotzdem bereits Maßnahmen zur stärkeren Regulierung von Rohstoffterminbörsen eingeleitet. Dieser Roundup gibt einen Überblick über die bisherigen Entwicklungen (...)

Large-Scale Asset Purchases by Central Banks II: Empirical Evidence
08.04.2015, Kerstin Bernoth, Philipp König
Roundup 61

Not just since the European Central Bank announced the large-scale purchase of government bonds a few weeks ago, large-scale asset purchases have always been a controversially discussed topic. This DIW Roundup summarizes the measures that have been taken by central banks in Japan, USA and UK and the empirical evidence about the impacts of these measures on financial markets and the real economy.

Central Bank Asset Purchases I: The Theory
07.04.2015, Philipp König, Kerstin Bernoth
Roundup 60

In the face of interest rates having hit their zero lower bound in major economies, large-scale asset purchases have become an important weapon of central banks in recent years. It is, however, not clear whether and under which circumstances such policy measures produce the desired effects. This DIW Roundup provides a selective overview of theoretical research that has been devoted to understand under what conditions central bank asset purchases lead to reductions in longer-term interest rates and produce stimulating effects on the overall economy.

Die Debatte um die Einlagensicherung: Hintergründe und Perspektiven
12.02.2015, Claudia Lambert
Roundup 56

Am 6. November 2014 wurde die Umsetzung der Bankenunion mittels vier neuer Gesetze auch im Bundestag final besiegelt, nachdem sie zuvor bereits auf europäischer Ebene beschlossen wurde. Die Bankenunion ruht im Wesentlichen auf zwei Säulen: dem einheitlichen Aufsichtsmechnismus (SSM) und dem einheitlichen Abwicklungsmechanismus (SRM). Die Ausgestaltung der dritten Säule war bis zuletzt Gegenstand einer intensiven Debatte und kreiste um die Frage, ob es neben (harmonisierten) nationalen Systemen auch einer einheitlichen europäischen Einlagensicherung bedürfe?

Bubbles and Monetary Policy: To Burst or not to Burst?
10.02.2015, David Pothier, Philipp König
Roundup 55

The question of whether monetary policy should target asset prices remains a contentious issue. Prior to the 2007/08 financial crisis, central banks opted for a wait-and-see approach, remaining passive during the build-up of asset price bubbles but actively seeking to stabilize prices and output after they burst. The macroeconomic and financial turbulence that followed the subprime housing bubble has led to a renewed debate concerning monetary policy’s role in maintaining financial stability. This Round-Up provides a brief overview of this topic.

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